At the SPCA, we have superheroes, bumble bees, and fairies – oops, we meant, dogs, cats and bunnies. The pets have started wearing costumes, so it’s a little hard to keep track of who’s who. Why are the pets wearing costumes? They heard us talking about dress rehearsals!
Pet Dress Rehearsals – Everything but the Adoption Paperwork
In a dress rehearsal for a play, everything is done as if the dress rehearsal were the real performance. Lighting is used, costumes are worn, and lines have been memorized. All that’s missing is the audience for the real thing. A Pet Dress Rehearsal is essentially a short term foster program that allows a potential adopter to live with a pet in his/her home for a few days without officially adopting. The pet goes home with you and you live your life with an extra member of the family. All that’s missing is the adoption paperwork to make it official.
Pet Dress Rehearsals are similar to those for plays. You don’t actually need to go crazy with the costumes, but try explaining that to the pets. You will need a collar and leash or pet carrier, plus any supplies you’d need to care for the pet you take home. For this time, act as if the pet is officially yours. See what living with them is really like, how they fit into your home, and how your lifestyle fits their needs. After spending a few days together, doing everything you would if you had adopted the dog/cat, an adopter can decide if the pet is the right fit.
If something isn’t broken, then there’s no need to fix it. Adoptions will still continue on as they always have. If you come to the SPCA, find a pet you want to adopt, and are ready to make it official, then you don’t need a dress rehearsal. Congratulations!
For those with reservations, you have another option. Adoption is always the goal, but for those with commitment issues, who may be hesitant to make things official for one reason or another, the SPCA hopes Pet Dress Rehearsals will ease your concerns.
The Fine Print
Technically, a pet dress rehearsal is a short-term foster program. After completing the adoption process to discuss all of the pet-in-question’s behavioral and medical information, the potential adopter will complete dress rehearsal paperwork.
There is a $250 fee for a dress rehearsal due at the time the pet leaves the SPCA. Fifty dollars is a non-refundable service fee that is required to participate in the Dress Rehearsal program. The remaining $200 is a refundable deposit that will be returned to the potential adopter at the conclusion of the Dress Rehearsal, should they decide that they do not wish to adopt the pet. If they decide to adopt the pet at the conclusion of the Dress Rehearsal, the $200 minus the adoption fee can be returned to them when they finalize the adoption. Of course, they are always welcome to leave the difference as a donation to save more pets.
Dress Rehearsal pets must leave on a harness/collar and leash or in an appropriate cat carrier. These are not provided by the SPCA. Purchases in the SPCA Retail Store are not refundable if the potential adopter does not keep the pet at the end of the dress rehearsal period.
The goal behind dress rehearsals is to encourage an adopter to take a chance on a pet they might otherwise have reservations about. Puppies and kittens are adopted so quickly, a dress rehearsal wouldn’t aid their adoption. Therefore, puppies and kittens are not eligible for the Dress Rehearsal Program.
For complete details about the program, stop by the Adoption Center or call 919-772-2326 to speak to an adoption counselor.